‘Extremely dangerous’ situation in Abbotsford involves man with real-looking BB gun

Culprit arrested after crime spree on Gladwin Road on Tuesday night

This BB gun was used by a man who went on a crime spree in Abbotsford on Tuesday night.

This BB gun was used by a man who went on a crime spree in Abbotsford on Tuesday night.

A man who allegedly pointed a fake gun at several citizens and police officers during a crime spree in Abbotsford on Tuesday night has now been charged.

Michael Raymond Watkins, 57, has been charged with robbery, break and enter, and two counts of using an imitation firearm during the commission of an offence.

It wasn’t until after his arrest, following a robbery at the Real Canadian Superstore at 2855 Gladwin Rd., that the weapon used during the incidents was determined to be a BB gun.

Const. Ian MacDonald said because the gun looked real, the situation was “extremely dangerous” and “incredibly high-stress.” He commended the officers involved for showing “amazing restraint” in taking the suspect into custody without any injuries involved.

The incident began at 8:10 p.m., when police received a call that a man had pointed a gun at a woman and child in a strip mall in the area of George Ferguson Way and Gladwin Road.

Patrol officers were immediately dispatched to the area, and at 8:13 p.m., the Abbotsford Police communications centre received an alarm indicating that glass had been smashed at a pharmacy in the 2900 block of Gladwin Road.

As police converged on the area, a 911 came in to report a robbery at a pharmacy inside the Real Canadian Superstore. The robber pointed a gun at the pharmacists and took a small quantity of drugs.

As the man left the grocery store, he pointed the gun at several officers, but they were able to arrest him without further incident at 8:18 p.m.

The culprit had cuts to his hand, which MacDonald said were likely caused when he smashed the glass at the first pharmacy.